How One Man Found His Higher Calling

Oakland A's prospect Grant Desme is retiring from baseball to enter the priesthood.

Oakland A's prospect Grant Desme is retiring from baseball to enter the priesthood.

For those of you who are new to Life Compass, I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics every Sunday.  Here’s why.

Have you ever thought that some people have a “higher” calling than others?  As a child, I often believed that those who work “in the ministry” as a pastor, priest, nun or missionary had a higher calling than everyone else.  After all, they serve God, right?  And everyone else serves…uh…someone else, I guess.

As a young adult I learned that God has given everyone a purpose and calling in life, and that we all can serve Him by doing what He called us to do to the best of our ability.

Whether we’re a plumber, baker, banker, attorney, mechanic, or something else, the Bible tells us, “Whatever you do, do your work as for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). It also gives numerous examples of how our work benefits and enhances the lives of others.

The problem, of course, is that we need to figure out what it is that we’re called to do.  And it seems to me that only a few people actually do that.

Yesterday, Fox News ran a story on their website about a young man who discovered his true calling.  Normally, something like this wouldn’t make the news.  In fact, I can’t recall the last time I saw a headline that said something like, “Susan Smith discovers her calling and will become a banker” or “Bob Johnson finally figures out he’s supposed to be a teacher.”

What makes this a newsworthy story is that it’s about a top major league baseball prospect who discovered his true calling and decided to enter the priesthood:

As a top prospect for the Oakland Athletics, outfielder Grant Desme might’ve gotten the call every minor leaguer wants this spring.

Instead, he believed he had another, higher calling.

Desme announced Friday that he was leaving baseball to enter the priesthood, walking away after a breakout season in which he became MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

“I was doing well at ball. But I really had to get down to the bottom of things,” the 23-year-old Desme said. “I wasn’t at peace with where I was at.”

“I love the game, but I aspire to higher things,” he said. “I know I have no regrets.”

Some will applaud Desme because he is giving up the potential fame and fortune of major league baseball for the priesthood, thinking that “ministry” is more important than baseball.

I too want to applaud him – but not because I think one vocation is more important than another.  It’s not that baseball is not right. It’s just that baseball is not right for him!

I applaud Desme for taking the time to clarify his calling and for being brave enough to make the change, no matter the cost. And what led him to make this decision to find the work he was meant to do?

  1. He realized he wasn’t at peace and didn’t feel fulfilled.
  2. He aspired to be all that God wanted him to be (he called that “the higher things”)
  3. He wanted to live without regrets.

What about you?  If you were on the pathway to be a major league baseball player (and perhaps earn millions of dollars), but you knew things weren’t quite right, would you keep doing it for the money/and or the love of the game?  Or would you follow your heart and do the work you were meant to do?  Please share your comments below.

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